Pack Your Boots: PLNU’s Newfound Love of Line Dancing

By: Elijah Ratermanis

Cowboy boots on the beach? Some might say that the simple thought of this sounds like something on the cover of a romance novel, alongside the glistening abs of the protagonist. Point Loma Nazarene University, however, has reclaimed this concept and pointed it in one direction: line dancing. The surge in line dancing has officially muddied the concepts of West Coast and Western for this beachfront school, splitting the line between Beach Boys and Luke Combs down the middle.

In the last year, there have been four on-campus line dancing events: Goodwin Residence Hall’s Heartbreak Hoedown, Nease Residence Hall’s Nease East Goes West, Marketing Club’s Hoedown Throwdown and PLNU Young Life’s Hoedown. 

Yes, that is a lot of hoedown. 

In comparison to the zero line dancing events held last year, it appears that line dancing is having a resurgence across PLNU. Although those more cynical may call this a mere lack of creativity, it appears that PLNU has learned from its student body and spoken straight to their desires.

“Just recently my friends introduced me to line dancing and it’s been really fun having these events at Loma where we can practice so much together,” said third year applied health science major Ashley Lemus.

These events, although similar concepts, have reached all kinds of groups on campus, whether it be those who already have a love for line dancing, have been desiring to learn a few routines, or never expected themselves to be on the dance floor. With songs going beyond just country music, many are interested in the dances to songs such as Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers” or Usher’s “Scream.”

The PLNU Community Living Agreement is a large part of the promotion of line dancing, as many students want to have fun dancing without the necessity of a party lifestyle, said second-year biochemistry major Nease East Residence Hall resident assistant (RA) and Young Life leader Sky Seong. 

Many students embrace their inner Footloose and simply want to dance. Seong has participated in and helped plan two of these PLNU-affiliated hoedowns. She said she knew how many of her own friends enjoyed line dancing and wanted to spread that joy to her residents in Nease and the student body.

Third-year computer engineering major Dorian Quimby said that this rise in line dancing on campus didn’t come out of nowhere. He attributes it to a rise in the popularity of country music, which has led to the revival of this boot-stomping trend. Quimby has been asked to lead and teach at three of the line dancing events on campus – due to his involvement at the popular line dancing venue, the Temecula Stampede.

“All of the freshmen decided they wanted to go to Stampede, and the middle-classmen have kept this going,” Quimby said.

Stampede has convinced many PLNU students that the boot-scootin’ boogie of it all is sufficiently worth the hour-long drive. Many students enjoy this venue due to the availability of an 18+ night, something few and far between at more local San Diego spots. 

On Thursday nights, many students walk the residence halls in Western wear. Country music echoes from the dorm rooms as students get ready to make the drive before doors open at 8 p.m. Through word of mouth, the line dancing club has become a weekly hub of familiar faces willing to throw themselves on the dance floor and learn. 

First-year biology major Ella Rice is one of those students, having grown up in Temecula and hearing about Stampede ever since high school. She said that she was hoping to find friends who were willing to come with her once she got to college, and if not, she was prepared to make it happen anyway.

“Before I even met my roommate, I told her to pack her boots. She seemed confused at the time, but now she gets it,” Rice said.

Rice and her friend group of about seven fellow-line-dancing lovers now attend Stampede weekly, along with the multiple events they have been to on the PLNU’s campus. If there is a line, they are dancing in it.

As the trend of line dancing continues to grow, it appears that the PLNU student body is ready and willing to stomp along that trail. Although surfing may still be the most well-known aspect of PLNU, Morgan Wallen’s “Sand in My Boots” seems to be the 2023-2024 theme song.